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Meredith Corp. closes on $177 million purchase of KMOV

Meredith Corp. closes on $177 million purchase of KMOV

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Magazine publisher and TV station owner Meredith Corp. has closed on its $177 million acquisition of KMOV (Channel 4), the CBS television affiliate in St. Louis.

Meredith, which is based in Des Moines, Iowa, announced plans to acquire KMOV from Sander Media of Phoenix in December.

The deal was negotiated after the U.S. Department of Justice directed the station’s sale to a buyer that didn’t have ties to Gannett Co., the McLean, Va.-based owner of KSDK (Channel 5) in St. Louis.

In June, Gannett announced it was buying Dallas-based Belo Corp., KMOV’s parent at the time, for $2.2 billion. As part of that deal, Gannett sold KMOV to Sander Media. But the Justice Department, citing joint sales and shared service agreements between Gannett and Sander, said the sale to Sander would hurt local TV advertisers in St. Louis. It directed Sander to sell KMOV before it would approve Gannett’s Belo acquisition.

“We’re pleased to add this high-performing station to our portfolio,” Meredith’s chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Lacy said in a statement. “Together with KCTV (CBS) in Kansas City, Meredith now has powerful local brands in two of the Midwest’s top news and sports markets.”

Meredith also said it plans to close on its purchase of KTVK, an independent TV station in Phoenix, and KASW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix, from Sander Media by June 30. Meredith is paying $407.5 million for all three stations, which will generate combined revenue of $105 million to $115 million in the first full year after closing, Meredith said.

Meredith owns 14 TV stations and several magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle.

The change in ownership comes as KMOV is losing its news director. Sean McLaughlin, news director at the station since 2007, is leaving in March to become vice president of news for E.W. Scripps & Co.

Lisa Brown is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaBrownSTL and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.

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